Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
July 29, 2014

Andy Whitcomb

Garden Harvest


This time of year, most gardens are producing plenty of vegetables and flowers. Though gardens require work to maintain, the tasty results are well worth the trouble. Whether the garden is a small urban raised bed or a larger rural roto-tilled plot, insects will find and feast on the garden too.  Some of the insects are pests that can be great bait. Collecting these in a coffee can with a hole-punched lid not only helps the plants but can be a great bonus source of fishing fun, especially for catching sunfish, bass, and catfish.

Here are a few garden pests/baits:

Grasshoppers and crickets. These generalists will eat anything but okra, squash, and tomatoes can be a good source for this classic bait.

Tomato hornworms.  When leaves start disappearing off tomatoes I look for these fat green giant caterpillars. Fish love ‘em!

Caterpillars.  There is a wide variety of smaller, but just as effective bait that can be found on cabbage, corn, broccoli, etc.

Grubs. When harvesting underground produce such as potatoes, carrots, or radishes, keep your eye open for grubs or worms.

Please note: not all garden insects make good bait; stick to the above list.  Beetles such as blister beetles which like cucumbers or those squash bugs on the zucchini plants should not be handled. Also, not all insects are pests. Leave the beneficial spiders and ladybugs there to do their job. Finally, do not transport and release bait elsewhere. After all, your local fish will appreciate all of your organically grown bait!

Anyone else harvest bait along with veggies?


Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad living in Pennsylvania. Visit him at

The following two tabs change content below.
Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”. One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”... To the point it could be classified as borderline illness. Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie." Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up. Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US. He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well... And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to since 2011.                                                                                Find out about the rest of Take Me Fishing Blog Authors.

Latest posts by Andy Whitcomb (see all)

Article Rating:

Leave a Reply